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These Contact Lenses Have Wi-Fi

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They don’t even need a battery.

A prototype contact lens developed by a researcher at the University of Washington can connect to Wi-Fi — and it doesn’t need a battery.

The lens demonstrates a new technology called backscatter, MIT Technology Review reports. It involves recycling signals that are already passing through the air.

“As you sit around in this room we have so many radio signals bombarding us,” explains Shyam Gollakota, assistant professor at the University of Washington. “You can harvest power from these signals [and] use reflections to create transmissions.”

The University of Washington explains that the technology “allows devices such as brain implants, contact lenses, credit cards and smaller wearable electronics to talk to everyday devices such as smartphones and watches.”

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One potential use for a contact lens based on the technology could be to monitor blood sugar via tears and send reports to a smartphone.

The University of Washington reports: “Due to their size and location within the body, these smart contact lenses are too constrained by power demands to send data using conventional wireless transmissions.”

Read more at MIT Technology Review

Read more at the University of Washington

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